Allegra Keith


The purpose of the current research is to contribute to the VE community’s understanding of how the dynamics of temporary teams may influence participant engagement, by answering the question, “what factors impact individual team member engagement on a VE study team?” In today’s business environment, the traditional permanent work team is no longer a reality for many employees (Jacobssen & Hallgren, 2016). Even those who do maintain membership in a permanent team are often tasked with serving on additional committees, task forces and decision-making teams to aid their organization in developing new products or navigating change. Value Engineering (VE) study teams present a unique scenario in which small, in-person teams of technical subject matter experts must solve complex problems in just a few days, having had no previous interaction. These teams can be classified as “temporary.” To understand what factors contribute to a participant’s engagement during a VE study, ten, semi-structured interviews were conducted with VE study team members. Themes from the interview data aligned with the literature’s framing of intellectual, social and affective engagement (Soane et al., 2012). Technical expertise, direct engagement by the facilitator, clear roles, prioritization of teambuilding, and viability of the project, were among the factors cited as impacting team member engagement. Recommendations were made related to prioritizing pre-study activities, creating a VE team member cadre for continued team member development, and setting the tone for engagement. These findings and recommendations may be applied to temporary team settings other than VE teams as well, in terms of the importance of context setting, early team member interaction, psychological membership and psychological safety for team success.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Organization Development; Value analysis (Cost control) -- Case studies; Teams in the workplace

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Feyerherm, Ann;